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Remembering The Actor Basil Rathbone – A.K.A. Sherlock Holmes

kndynt2099, Flickr

“Elementary My Dear Watson”, a term often associated with Sherlock Holmes           ( most notably Basil Rathbone), a phrase  never spoken by the character in any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work.

In the film near the beginning of The Crooked Man (1893), it’s “…my dear Watson” that appears first from Holmes, then Watson replied with “Elementary”a few lines later.
The closet that quote ever came was maybe  from the closing lines The Return of Sherlock Holmes a film that came out in 1929.

Basil Rathbone was born on June 13, 1892 in Johannesburg South Africa. He died in 1967 of a heart attack.


Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce
Hulton Archive, Getty Images




Might note the actors name who is noted for playing Watson was that of Nigel Bruce.

Most notable films of Basil Rathbone were,”The Hound Of The Baskervilles”, “Dressed To Kill”, “The Adventures of Marco Polo”. “The Adventures of Robin Hood”

He excelled in his school studies, theater, and very good at the sport of fencing.

He won a Tony award for his role in The Heiress, a Broadway Production. He also has three stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. He was awarded the Military Cross serving in the First World War as a spy disguised as a tree to gather information from the Germans.

Basil was knighted in 1949 by King George VI as a knight bachelor, and 1961 he was awarded Knight of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire–by Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Basil Rathbone was also a distant cousin of Major Rathbone whom was present in the Presidential Box at the Fords Theater the night President Lincoln was shot. Major Rathbone later married Clara Harris who was in the booth with him, only to murder her in 1875 because of jealously and then spent the rest of his life in an insane asylum.

His life was very busy, one might say nothing Elementary about it. He married twice and had a couple children, one of which he adopted.

To close with a personal quote of his,”When you become the character you portray, it’s the end of your career as an actor”.

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